Emmys Moving to August in 2014 to Avoid Football Conflict (Exclusive)
The awards ceremony has aired in September every year since 2002, except for 2006 and 2010, when NBC hosted.
The 65th Primetime Emmys telecast is still more than a month away but plans are already afoot for next year's show.
The Hollywood Reporter has learned that the 66th Primetime Emmys will be broadcast not in September, as in most years, but rather in late August of 2014 to avoid a conflict with NBC's Sunday Night Football. One source says the TV Academy has decided on an Aug. 24 date, but a rep for the Academy declined to comment.
The move is not a surprise. Each of the big four broadcast networks -- ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC -- get to air the Emmys once every four years. Next year is NBC's turn, and the network has scheduled the show in August each of the last two times it has hosted. (NBC aired the Emmys on Aug. 27, 2006 and Aug. 29, 2010; every other Emmys ceremony since 2002 has aired in Sept.)
The reason for NBC's preference for earlier air-dates is that, in 2006, the network acquired rights to air Sunday Night Football, and it does not want to have to pick between the two ratings magnets (the NFL season always kicks off in early Sept.). During the 2012-2013 season, SNF was the highest-rated, most-watched show on TV, according to Nielsen.
The move would put the 2014 Emmys out of the fall TV season, but in the past the shift has been welcomed by publicists and talent who say they prefer completing their promotional duties by the end of the summer, as opposed to having them bleed into the fall, when film festivals and production commitments often make for chaotic schedules.
Ratings don't necessarily take a hit either. NBC's 2010 show in August, hosted by Jimmy Fallon, was well-reviewed and drew about as many viewers as the previous year's telecast in September on CBS. This year's show airs on Sept. 22 on CBS.